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Opinion | Here’s to the real heroes


A few months ago I had the opportunity to travel to Seattle, Washington and visit World Vision headquarters to meet with their leadership. At the end of our trip, I was taken on a tour of one of their distribution centers in the area. It was amazing. Here, there were so many of the necessities for life, all the things government officials and politicians have been trying to decidehow to provide and this private organization was doing it. Not just talking about it. World Vision is a great organization that has made it their mission to give people across the world hope and the life-giving message of Jesus Christ.  I am so excited to announce that they are bringing that hope here to Alabama, and I have some incredible news. Through a partnership with World Vision, local pastors, and community leaders, we are bringing school supplies to over 4,000 Title 1 students in the greater Birmingham area.

This past June, my son Hunter married a teacher.  Through her first-hand account, and those of so many teachers I met while running for Governor, I understand how hard they work to provide for their students the essentials for quality education. Studies have shown that the average teacher will spend a little under five-hundred dollars a year for their students, well above the two-hundred and fifty dollar limit they can deduct when doing their taxes every year. This isn’t for extravagant decorations or non-essential items but pens and pencils. Buying notebooks and erasers. Markers and construction paper. These teachers pour their hearts and souls into what they do, often working long hours that extend past the time they leave the building, and for wages that are often far too low. They are heroes. They are helping raise the next generation and the least we can do is thank them for it and try to help out when we can.

The best part? Teachers will get these supply boxes straight from the Center and then be able to distribute them to students in need. They know their classrooms best, they know what each student needs. This way we can start the students’ school year on a good note while also sharing tangible evidence of the teacher’s heart for them…for free. It gives me so much joy to do this in my home, in the state I love and the place that has given so much to me and my family. Through this endeavor I have relied heavily on the work of many to move this project forward. Dewey (Will) Roberts has been by my side the entire way making calls, writing presentations, and hosting meetings within the state of Alabama. The state of Alabama is moving forward through people and ministries working together for today’s family.  We will be sharing more with the public about distribution details in the coming days.

In the month of August, over 4,000 Title 1 students across central Alabama will receive these materials.  In due time, our hope is for every Title 1 student in Alabama to have his or her resources provided without one tax dollar.  Here’s to the real heroes…the teachers!


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